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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Before this crazy-dark gloomy thunder-storm, rainy week, back when it was sunny and beautiful (early last week), Zachary and I went on a preschool field trip to the farm. It was a delightful morning – warm and sunny and full of ridiculously cute animals. The kids had free reign of the place. We could go in any barn stall to pet the animals – horses, donkey (singular), bunnies, miniature pot belly pig (singular), chicks, ducks, cats, baby lambs and peacock (good luck petting that one). In the barn loft there were several huge stacks of hay and a couple of big rope swings. Zach had SO much fun. And I always enjoy a trip to the farm where my city girl mind can run wild, and I try to imagine a different childhood – one where I call Dad, “Pa,” and I walk to school carrying my lunch in a silver pail. I spend long afternoons playing down by the creek but pronounce it “crick.” I wear two long braids and an apron over my plaid-gingham dress. Yes, I do understand that just because one lives on a farm it does not immediately mean they exist in the late 19th century and “Little House on the Prairie” times, but in my head – that’s what happens. Crazy things happen in there. Like spontaneous musical sequences. Anyway, I digress.

Despite it being a beautiful day, I did have the forethought to have Zach wear his rain boots – OK, let’s face it, the kid wears them almost every day rain or shine, so that wasn’t really my doing at all. But it was a good thing as they got fairly well caked in animal poo – primarily of the horse persuasion. I hadn’t had the forethought – unfortunately – to bring a change of shoes for us, and there was no way I was going to allow animal manure shoes in our new minivan. I wrapped his boots and my old shoes in a plastic bag and drove home in just my socked feet. Later in the afternoon, I hosed clean the bottom of our shoes as best I could (over the garden where one spot will now be nicely manure-fertilized). I told Zach that despite my hosing his boots, he couldn’t wear them until it ACTUALLY rained and he could stomp in the puddles just to make sure that all remaining animal poo got washed away.

I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised when Zach threw a major fit the next morning because he wanted to wear his rain boots. Of course, this fit happens when we’re already late walking out the door for preschool. And of course, the irony is that it’s not at all a rainy day nor does it look like it will become one. It’s a perfectly GOOD day for NOT wearing rain boots. Zach proceeds to throw his I’m-almost-four-and-I-will-attempt-to-exert-what-little-independence-I-have-in-this-case-clearly-establishing-that-I-should-get-to-choose-my-desired-foot-covering fit. It was a doozy. I tried rationalizing with him (why bother?), explaining that it’s a sunny day and therefore rain boots aren’t essential (why bother?), and that we really didn’t have time for this (why bother?), and he should listen to me (why bother?). Finally, I took a different course.

“We talked about this Zach,” I said, “I rinsed your boots off but they’re probably still a little stinky. They smell like horse poo. You don’t really want to be THAT kid – the kid known as Horse Poo Boy, do you? Do you? Horse Poo Boy?” This tactic of humiliation-foreshadowing worked beautifully. Zach wiped his fit-tear-streaked face and said, “FINE.”

Mom: 1. Kid: 0.

Two days later, it WAS actually a rainy morning. As promised, Zach got to wear his boots which he happily jumped into and ran out into the driveway to stomp a bit. We got buckled and drove all the way down the street before I slammed on the brakes.

“It smells like horse poo,” I grumbled. I turned Kia Sassy Wagon around and we came home to change shoes. Sorry, dude, but that horse poo stench lingers and I just don’t want to be known as “The Mom of Horse Poo Boy.” Sorry Laura Ingalls Wilder, I just don’t have what it takes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Every once in a while I have a moment of Mommy Genius. Two days ago, we experienced one such moment. Still recovering from my cold, I summoned the energy to at least get outside – let the boys play in the yard while I did some much needed weeding. However, I was tired. And kinda lazy. So, I didn’t want to do the whole squat and pick, squat and pick thing. We had an overabundance of cardboard that needed to be broken down for recycling, so I flattened a cereal box and proceeded to scoot on my lazy butt around the flower beds whilst I weeded. This, my friends, is where the genius took place. It gave me an idea.

Next to our tiered flower beds there’s a portion of dirt hill (maybe 10-12 feet long) that slopes sorta-steeply down to the yard. It was here that the magic would happen. I squealed, jumped up and ran into the garage. The boys followed me cautiously wondering if I’d officially lost it.

“Voila!” I exclaimed showing them my idea.

They gave me blank-yet-quizzical stares. Thanks to Uncle Harry (who has Hoover connections) we now have a new Hoover Wind Tunnel vacuum. Said-vacuum came in an enormous Hoover vacuum-sized box. Thus: the Dirt Sled. My stroke of Mommy Genius. I explained to the boys how they could sit on the flattened box and ‘sled’ – if you will – down the dirt hill. They were intrigued and mildly enthused by my idea (not nearly as excited as I was). Matthew was the first to give it a whirl. He dragged the “sled” up to the fence, gritted his teeth and sat down on the squishened box. Holding on to the edges of his Dirt Sled, he placed both feet firmly on the ground and pushed off…and went about three inches. A little anticlimactic. OK, maybe just a rookie mistake. He pushed off the ground again and this time went maybe six inches. Not willing to admit defeat, he decided to push off the ground with his hands. This seemed to work better and Matthew slid down the hill (off the box, on his butt, in the dirt, over the roots, rocks and weeds). A little bit more ow than wow unfortunately. He flashed me a look that was more bemused than amused.

Zach ran up the hill eagerly for his turn. He situated his bum just-so on the box-turned-sled, pulled his feet up just-so, held on to the box edges just-so, and then sat there. Waiting.

“Zach,” I said, “You’re going to need to get it started.”

“Matthew!” Zach yelled, “Gimme a push!” Seeing images of Zach tumbling head-first down the hill, I put a quick stop to that idea.

So, Zach did a butt-scoot move – a jerky motion that would hopefully send his Dirt Sledded self souring down the slope. It worked. Sorta.

Anyway, all in all the boys spent maybe 10 minutes trying to zoom down the dirt hill. It was…mostly disappointing…but they still had a good time! And it kept them happily occupied for 10 minutes. I keep thinking of ways we could improve upon our sled training slope. Maybe just laying down a tarp and having a plastic sheet run to zip down. All I know is that under the cloak of darkness, I’ll have to get out there some night and give it a go. Genius, I tell you. Genius.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I have a cold. Of course, I have a cold. I just recently thought, “Gosh! I’ve been SO healthy this year. I haven’t had a cold or anything in a LONG time.” Stupid. And really, it has been miraculous that I’ve been cold-and-sick-free especially since two of my preschool students have literally shown up to music class for the last three Wednesdays oozing all sorts of green slime – for three weeks in a row! And with no end to the slime in sight!

Now, I like to think that I’m not TERRIBLY whiny about having a cold (unlike those who suffer from “Man Cold” – YouTube it). But I certainly do get creative when asked how I’m feeling (especially by Mike whose job as Spousal Unit is to offer unconditional love, support, sympathy and backrubs). I typically answer with: “I feel like I’ve been run over by (or sat upon, or danced a jig on by a…) fill in the blank.” Good ones are: a heard of runaway elephants, a semi-truck, a drunk and very obese pack/herd/grouping of evil Leprechauns (it was St. Patty’s Day yesterday, so you get extra credit for being seasonally accurate). Like at Christmas one could say: “I feel as though all of Santa’s reindeer have decided to run laps on my head.” (In the case of a head cold). Or for a headache at Thanksgiving: “I’m pretty certain that the entire Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – complete with marching bands – has decided that my brain is the parade route this year.”

But it’s interesting how my tolerance level has changed a bit. Normally, on Thursday mornings, Zachary and I head to the gym where I attend the most kick-your-butt Spin class ever. Now, I’m debating if I have it in me. Five years ago I ran a freakin’ 26.2 mile marathon with a cold!! (Granted, I didn’t have a choice as it WAS race day). Tomorrow I’m supposed to run a measly 6-mile training run, and I’m already seeing how easy it would be to talk myself out of it. I could practically talk myself out of a run for a nasty hangnail these days!

And I’m supposed to go to the dentist today too. I’m way over due, so what difference will another week or so make? I mean, I figure they’d rather have me reschedule than attempt to breathe through my nose when I can’t really breathe through my nose and my mouth is all full of their hands ‘n stuff. I’d want me to reschedule if I were them – those dentist people that do all the teeth-handling work. Yeah, I think it’s in all of our best interest if I reschedule. And just stay in stretchy-at-home-comfy-clothes all day. And if I read. And write. And rest. Yeah, that sounds good. Tell life I’m calling in sick today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Read in loud-abrasive-car-sales-commercial Voice: Are you in need of a new car? Well, if you are: let the Car NegotiaTORS assist you! With skill beyond imagination, these two will wear down even the most skilled of Car Salesmen!

That’d be us. Yep, now allow me to brag about our Car Negotiation Skills (CNS) that were put into play a few weeks ago when purchasing our minivan. First of all, we had to plan the first attack with all the right accoutrements: Token Cute Children (check – didn’t even have to rent ‘em; we supplied our own), Short Window of Time close to Closing Time (check), Seemingly Undecided on Whether or Not We Really Want To Buy (check – we TOTALLY knew we were buying), Token Cute Children that eventually turn into Cranky Children (check – cranky children can unnerve anyone), Perfectly Played Emotions to Tug on Salesman’s Heartstrings (check).

We first went to the dealership after church and lunch on Sunday afternoon. I had spent days compiling lists of newishly-used available Toyota Sienna’s and Kia Sedona’s, so we knew exactly what ‘merchandise’ each dealership had. We bought our ’98 Honda CRV (that we still have and love) at Renton Honda & Kia, so we thought we’d go there again.

After test-driving both cars – an ’08 Toyota Sienna and the ’09 Kia Sedona, we decided on the Kia. (Despite the fact that the Toyota was a beautiful dark blue that Matthew and I both voted for; our Kia is red and still very sassy and beautiful). We told the salesmen that we would need to leave at 3:30 since Matthew had his ‘Faith Formation’ class back at church. Yes, we are a church-going people. This should help in our proof that we are a good people who need a minivan that we can fill with Catholic babies…or something.

As soon as we said, we needed to leave (and the boys began to act perfectly cranky on cue), the salesdudes turned on their defenses. “Well, gosh, we’d love for you to be able to drive away with your new van today, let me just go check with the manager, actually I’ll have him come talk to you; we’ll see what we can do for you.”

Cue the jolly manager who likes to say things like, “I can see that you’re a family with good taste and that you’ve done your research. I also hear that you’ve got a bit of a time-crunch right now, so FOR YOU ONLY, I’m WILLING to make quite the deal. I NEVER do this, but I’d be willing to knock off a couple thousand and sell this BEAUTIFUL family minivan to you for the WHOLESALE price. I NEVER do that, but boy, I sure like you guys and….” Blahblahblah.

We act as thought, for a moment, we’re considering it, and then say, “Gee, thanks, but we’re just not buying today. We’ve got to go. We’ll be back tomorrow.” And we make a sudden exit.

The salesmen egos pop and rapidly deflate before our eyes. When we DO return the next day – as promised – we are greeted with huge grins and hearty handshakes.

“What?” I ask innocently. “You didn’t believe us? You didn’t think we’d come back?”

Both Salesman and Manager inform us that of the people that promise to return, statistically only 2% actually do. That’s right. Now we’ve proven ourselves a bit. We’re a good, kind, honest people. And then. Oh, right when they think, this will be an easy-sell to these nice, honest, Churchly-people; we unleash the madness – our mad Negotiating Skills, that is. For THREE HOURS we go back and forth with these guys. It’s a game of car-sale-negotiating tennis – an evenly matched, well-played, nail-biting battle.

One would think when watching us that Mike and I must be using some sort of baseball base coach cues, the way we so seamlessly trade from bad cop (negotiator) to good cop (negotiator). But our negotiating technique goes without words, without a need to communicate. We are a well-oiled machine; we are a car salesman’s worst nightmare. Mike and I teeter-totter back and forth playing with their emotions. At one point, I act ready to sign while Mike argues a bit more. Then, when Mike seems satisfied, I suddenly have doubts forcing them to drop the price yet again.

We’ve worn them down, the manager has said a few times, “Look, I’m sorry, but this is the best I can do. I’m already not making any money on this sale since we dropped it down to wholesale yesterday.” We argue a few other small points, and then he says, “Well, ya know, we’re just arguing about $100 now. Are we really just arguing about a little bit of money now?”

This is when I whip out the waterworks, with eyes welling up, just enough, I say, “Well, it’s not just a little bit of money to us. We’re adopting a child. That’s an expensive thing. We need every little bit of money we can get.” He quickly back pedals after my saying that he’s basically keeping us from supplying an orphan with a loving home. He throws in two free full tanks of gas and finally, FINALLY we – happily change back into ourselves – and shake on it. Afterwards, as we delve into the paperwork, our salesman, Tony, compliments us on our tough fight. With a grin, he shakes his head as he hands us the keys. Well played. Well played.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It’s mind-boggling that a week ago right now, we were packing up to walk in the warm, sunny morning to school (where I would eventually see my sorrowful defeat at a nail-biting footrace – see two blogs ago). But it was about 60 degrees and gorgeous. Today? Not so much.

I had a training run to do this morning – just a five miler; not too bad. It’s raining. It was a run in the rain. I’m actually a huge fan of running in the rain. Most Seattle rainy days are actually just kind of gray, sputtery, mostly-rain-constipated days; they aren’t THAT wet. Um, yeah, this morning? Again, not so much.

The rain today is the kind that you see on Seattle-themed movies and TV shows, like on Grey’s Anatomy. A torrential downpour where at any moment you’ll hear thunder rolling across the Sound (this rarely happens, by the way, the whole thunder and lightning thing). It’s the rain when at any moment Dr. McSteamy or McDreamy will come running in, soaking wet and mcsexy and, let’s face it, also a bit mcslimey. Yeah, that’d be nice. Well, OK, I don’t need a McSteamy or McDreamy, I’ve got a McMikey. (Oh, sorry, did you just gag a little?! My bad.)

This was the rain that I ran in this morning. Things started out fine; I actually even made a couple of phone calls while starting out. Seriously, I did. I’m the crazy lady, running in the rain at 7 in the morning, talking on her cell phone. THAT is multitasking. About two miles in I realized: Dang, it’s wet. This is the wettest run since I trained for the marathon five years ago. With one of my training partners, I ran an 18 mile long run around Green Lake.
We slogged and squished six times around the three-mile path in the pouring, dumping shower of rain madness, questioning our sanity with each squashy step. Now that I think about it, that run was a dry jog in the park compared to this!

So, yes, I’m on my run this morning, and even I’ll admit that it’s raining – it’s not just sprinkling or drizzling, actually, it is pouring. Then, right when I think it can’t actually rain harder, the angels maniacally, giggling with angelic-yet-devious little chuckles, dump bucket-after-bucket of water upon my head. Soon, I have to start pulling my pants up every few steps as they’re being dragged down by the weight of the water-soaked-fabric hanging limply around my ankles.

A mile or so later, I find myself at the bottom of a steep hill. Yippee (said with no enthusiasm what-so-ever), I now get to run up a massive slip’nslide. Now, running shoes aren’t exactly waterproof – they’re actually created in the exact opposite of waterproof. Let’s make them as porous as possible to allow as much breathability as possible; we wouldn’t want any moisture, now would we? My shoes become a slush puddle. With each step, I feel my toes squish about in a small puddle of rain-sweat-combo. I’m no longer careful that I won’t slip on the street; I actually have to pay more attention to slipping and sliding in the mini-bathtubs that are strapped around my feet.

While slowly ascending the hill, I notice that small rivers of rainwater are now gushing down both sides of the street. I expect at any moment to see Jiminy Cricket (or some other cute Disney bug character) floating down the river in his little leaf boat, a twig oar clutched lazily in his hand (bug paw? Claw?). He’d look up, grin at me, and give me a gentlebuggly tip ‘o his hat.

I shake my head like a dog, sending a spray of water about me. The rain is starting to seep into my brain making me delusional. I start thinking about this exact Blog post – brainstorming (ha! BrainSTORMing) in my mind. Thinking how unfair it is that probably my most magnificent Blog posts happen in my brain when I have no way of recording them so that by the time I get to type it (right now), it’s lost 94.28% of the humor and genius. Oh well. Maybe I should carry a small recording device. Then, I’d be the crazy lady who talks into a tape player on her run. Or maybe I should just call my own cell phone on my cell phone (can you do that?) and leave myself 12 Blog-post-dictated messages. Yes, the rain has gotten into my brain.

At mile 4 – as planned – I call Andrea on my cell phone. Andrea is my wonderful friend-slash-neighbor-slash-running partner who is going through Chemo for Breast Cancer. And Andrea, being the rockstar that she is, still joins me for the last mile of my runs occasionally. So, I call her, knowing what the answer will be.

“But, really, it’s just kind of sprinkling,” I beg, disgusted with myself.

Andrea laughs, “Dude, I’m going back to bed. Have a good shower.” Am I that miserable in this wet-madness that I’m trying to drag the Chemo patient out with me? (She later thinks this thought is hilarious).

Again, the evil angels dump garbage cans full of water on to me. So much rain is unleashed upon my head that I figure it’s about time to shake my fist at the sky and yell, “Why?! Why do you hate me so?!” And then, I realize: Ahh, snap. It’s time to find a boat! This ain’t a joke; this is the real thing. The next massive flood is a-comin’. Forget about my family – my boys – who are still a soggy-drenched two miles away all snuggly in their beds. No, each woman for herself. I’m finding me an ark!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Here's the Proof. Allow me to introduce you to Kia: The Sassy Wagon. So far, driving a minivan has been a good thing. It's like I'm a new person -- I'm "Jenny who drives a minivan" -- which, contrary to popular belief, actually makes me WAY cooler. There's such a stigma with minivan ownership, but this little beauty ain't nothin’ but sass.

I have found, though, that now that we own a car big enough for easy child expansion, I suddenly feel a lot more ready to expand the number of our children. Which, really? Not such a good thing in this adoption process. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we are just as freakishly busy as usual, and OF COURSE, we’ve been excited about adopting a baby girl from the first green light, but I was REALLY hoping to not get bitten by the Baby Bug quite yet. (Seeing as we could be waiting for Baby Girl for a LONG time, being super excited about it will just make the wait feel that much longer).

I’m looking forward to a few things the most about Baby Girl: 1.) Getting to see Zachary as a big brother (and of course, an older Matthew big brother with a baby sister this time ‘round). 2.) Getting to carry Baby Girl around in the Ergo Baby (the most magical, wonderful baby carrier ever that sadly, we didn’t get until Zach was already 2. I plan to wear Baby Girl in the Ergo Baby 24-7…well, maybe not QUITE that much, but she’ll basically be like my daily accessory). 3.) I’m looking forward to slowing down. Yes, I understand that this seems like an oxymoron – adding a 3rd child to our family shouldn’t technically make us LESS busy, but it WILL force me to schedule LESS. To spend more time at home. To just BE. And, that, my friends, sounds delightful.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I’m amused yet embarrassed, tickled yet tortured all at the same time. My 6 ½ year old has become obsessed with the Macarena. He wants to listen to it on repeat, dance it, discuss it and hum it. And gladly-yet-sadly I must admit that I do own a CD with said-pop-culture-music-phenomenon. (Jock Jams Volume 2, fyi). And I’m also kind of a Macarena-ing Rock Star. Like, if it’s possible to be GOOD at the Macarena; I am. Yet, doing the Macarena once a day is more than enough for me, so if this thrice-to-twelve-times-per-day Macarena-ing continues, I may have to wear a pillow duct-taped over my head and around my ears for the next several weeks.

Friday, we walked to school with some of our neighbors. It was a beautiful day, and it’s an easy walk – maybe 15 minutes at the very most. You’d think we’d do this more often since it was such a delightful expedition, and we may continue to do it on Friday mornings (our school district has “Late Start” every Friday for teacher meetings. I LOVE Late Start days – the kiddos are so much happier with a bit more sleep, a little playtime and not having to mad-dash out the door). So, walking is great, but I’d hate to take the joy of riding the bus away from my pro-Macarena Matthew.

Experiencing the pre-school playground madness is an experience. But there is kind of some sort of structure and order to the chaos. It’s like the kids know their pecking order in Playground World and they stick to it. The 3-5th boys run races on the field, play basketball or just generally rip around the playground causing havoc. The 3-5th girls mingle and walk arm-in-arm in tightly-knit clique-y circles, giggling and whispering (probably making other girls feel horribly left-out and self-conscious). The K-2nd grade boys tend to stay on the playground running in mad circles around the climbing equipment, speeding down the slides and causing massive traffic-pile-ups at the bottom. They play pretend with the K-2nd grade girls sometimes or they just keep to themselves playing “Special Agents” or “Batman.” A smattering of kids of all ages wait patiently in line for a turn on the bars or a turn playing tether ball.

My friend Andrea, and I stood and watched the glee-filled mayhem around us taking note of all the different activities and the general vibe of oober-happy-kid-energy and joy. I tried (mostly in vain) to keep track of 3 ¾ (yes that’s THREE-AND-THREE-QUARTERS to ya, and don’t you forget it!) Zachary. He ran mostly with the 3-5th graders dividing his time evenly between the boys and girls.

I felt a tug on my sleeve. An adorable boy (the cute, athletic-type; the type that’s definitely got a future with “the ladies”) looked up at me, shielding his eyes from the sun. “You wanna race?”

I sized him up. Hmmm, maybe third grade – fourth at the most – yeah, I could take him. I handed Andrea my travel mug half-full coffee. “OK,” random-kid-who-asks-strangers-to-race, “You’re on.”

We picked a spot to start. “Where’s the finish?” I asked.

“Over there,” he gestured towards the field in a flailing, half-hearted, noncommittal way.

“Over where?” I asked. I mean, is this kid trying to dupe me? What if I think he means the trash can but then he keeps running down the field to the fence? Not fair.

“The trash can,” he says.

“OK,” I agree. We take our stance and both say, “On your mark, get set, go!”

As if in slow motion, I see my life as a chubby, not-at-all-athletic, band nerd, schoolgirl flash before me. I could, I think. I could take one for the girls – for the chubby, not popular, not always Gap-shopping girls. I could take this Cute Boy down. Pop his rapidly growing Cool Cute Boy ego – just a little bit. And once and for all, prove that chubby girls don’t always finish last.

And just when I was in the heat of my internal debate, some kid steps in front of me. I dodge around the kid – practically knocking down two bowling-pin-children in the process. And Cute Boy speeds on to victory. I burst into defeated tears. OK, just kidding about that. I give him a high-five, tell him good job, and without a word he runs off – probably to find another unsuspecting random adult to race.

This race thing could be good though. Maybe instead of training long runs for my half marathon (did an 8 miler yesterday!), I should focus more on my track workouts. Who knows?! Maybe I could start with kindergartners and work my way up to fifth graders. Or maybe I’ll just get back to watching and sipping my lukewarm coffee (all the while, silently cheering on all those little chubby girls).

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I got nothin’. For serious. I don’t have a whole lot to report. I don’t have a ready, go-to funny kid-anecdote to share with you. I’m lacking a witty commentary on some obscurity of life that no one really cares about but that makes me chuckle. I got nothin’. And quite frankly, my yoga session ran a little late, so I don't have the time to come up with something for now. So, I’m TOTALLY going to cheat. I’m going to be the laziest of all lazy-bloggers. I feel that since I’m now writing two blogs (when I even find or make the time to blog, which is a rarity on its own), I’m allowed to be a lazy-cheating-blogging-daughter-of-a-non-blogger. So, from the website blog for the National Engaged Encounter Convention (for which the theme is: Reboot Your Relationship) voila:

Convention Magic

Something magical took place at our District Convention in Park City, Utah this past summer. Something “magical” always takes place at Engaged Encounter Conventions, but this was a new kind of magic. This was a rip-roarin’, knee-slappin’, arm-wavin’, sweat-drippin’, booty-shakin’ kind of magic that can only REALLY happen at an Engaged Encounter Convention. A dance contest. It was the dance contest to end all dance contests. Sue Stockinger (Co-Chair for the 2010 Nat’l Convention) says it was like watching a scene from a movie – a musical or dancing movie – like Dirty Dancing but with much less dirty and way more classy dancing.

The music started with something a little slow – like a smooth Rhumba perhaps. The dance floor was full, packed with body-to-body couples swaying to the beat. After a while – a few songs to warm up the crowd – our District Coordinators (Gilbert and Nicole Pinon) gradually began the difficult, heart-wrenching process of eliminating couples from the floor. After what felt like forEVER, when I was fairly certain that I would pass out from dance-induced fatigue, when many of us had Salsa-ed, and Swing-danced (would that be Swang?), Chicken-danced, splitted (splat!?) and even wormed across the dance floor, we watched the grand finale of the dance-off to end all dance-offs. One of the younger couples at the Convention (who, yes, happen to be from Seattle and who, yes, happen to star in our Promo Video) danced head-to-head against one of the more experienced couples at the Convention (a deacon and his wife who have been married for…I don’t remember how long, but a while). There was Merengue-ing and even Irish-jigging and in the end, BOTH couples were crowned – rightly so – as District Dance Champions.

It was a night many of us will never forget. A fun, magical night. The kind of night that can only happen at an Engaged Encounter Convention. Because, only with our Engaged Encounter family, do we know we’re surrounded by people who share the same values of faith, marriage and family. We are with people who know that “Love is a decision;” and, quite frankly, people who CHOOSE love tend to be all around awesome and kind of loads of fun. They also seem to be great dancers and seriously know how to have a good time.

So, dust off those ruffled tuxes and those big-bow-bedazzled prom dresses (or maybe choose a fun more updated, dance-friendly outfit) for the Convention dance on Saturday, October 2nd. And be ready to shake your reBOOTY!